In Philippines, second journalist killed in a week

Bangkok, December 10, 2013–Radio broadcaster Michael Diaz Milo was shot dead on Saturday, marking the second journalist to be killed in a week in the Philippines, according to news reports. The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on Philippine authorities to identify the perpetrators and swiftly bring them to justice.

According to news reports, assailants on motorcycles pulled alongside Milo while he was riding a motorcycle home in Surigao del Sur province’s coastal Tandag City. One of the assailants shot Milo in the head at close range, according to police information cited in local news reports. The perpetrators then fled the crime scene, the reports said.

Milo, host of a daily radio show and program director at the local DXFM radio, was declared dead at a nearby hospital. News reports citing the news station’s operations chief King De La Rosa said Milo had received anonymous death threats before his murder. The reports said his radio program regularly covered local issues, including reports on herbal medicine.

Police officials said they formed a special task group to investigate the case, but did not immediately mention a motive for the murder, the reports said.

Milo’s killing comes one week after the fatal shooting of radio broadcaster Joas Dignos by motorcycle-riding assassins.

Hermino Coloma Jr., Aquino’s communications secretary, said at a press conference in November that the number of journalists’ deaths had been inflated and that the problem was “not so serious,” according to news reports. The Philippines ranked third on CPJ’s 2013 Impunity Index, a global measure of unsolved journalist murders as a percentage of each country’s population.

“We condemn the murder of radio broadcaster Michael Diaz Milo,” said Shawn Crispin, CPJ’s senior Southeast Asia representative. “How many more journalists must be murdered before President Benigno Aquino’s government takes seriously the scale of his country’s impunity problem?”